Formerly Obese Landmark Education Graduate Climbs for Charity

untitled.jpgThere’s no other way to put it: Landmark Education graduate Bob Talan was just plain fat. Overeating was such a mainstay of his life that his picture hangs in the Palm Steakhouse in North Fork Court, Illinois, near where he lives. In 2006, he won the best costume award at a Halloween party he went to dressed as a beer keg. He looked at a picture from that night and was horrified.

“I looked like a double for Fat Bastard from that Austin Powers movie,” he relates. “I weighed over 300 pounds–I spun the scale around.”

More seriously, his health was deteriorating. His family was extremely concerned. His friends would discretely recommend gastric bypass surgery. His doctor would make recommendations and give him prescriptions. His wife was unhappy.

Then a couple of his friends, who had also completed the Landmark Forum, suggest that Talan join them in the ‘Hustle up the Hancock’, a charity run for the Respiratory Health Association of Metropolitan Chicago, up the 94 floors of the Hancock Building in Chicago. “It’s brilliant!” said Bob, saracastically, thinking it sounded suicidal. But he shared the idea with this family (they thought the idea was crazy).

Finally bob said “I’ve got to do this!” and took it on. He gave up cigars, soda, hard liquor and fatty foods. He hired a personal trainer and started to get into the best shape of his life.

In addition to his own health, the cause behind the ‘Hustle up the Hancock’ also inspired him. His mother died of lung cancer, and his father died of an aortic vascular condition. His two daughters suffer from exercise-induced asthma.

By the time of the run, Bob had dropped 37 pounds. He finished the run, all 94 floors, in 37 minutes. In addition, he persuaded 10 other people, include his wife and daughters, to run and raise money with him. The team raised about $14,000 in total. This year, Talan is down to a fit 215 pounds, and is training harder than ever for Hustle. He has inspired 29 people to run with them, and it looks they will raise at least $30,000.

His own health is just one of his concerns–He is also excited to do his part in the battle against lung cancer and other smoking related diseases. To get involved, check out the ‘Hustle up the Hancock’!

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